Posts filed under Wellness

M.D. versus D.O

Did you know that aside from the typical M.D.'s we're all used to, there's another option? You could also choose a D.O.

D.O. stands for "doctor of osteopathic medicine".

And this is the exact definition of osteopathy:

a system of medical practice based on a theory that diseases are due chiefly to loss of structural integrity which can be restored by manipulation of the parts supplemented by therapeutic measures (as use of drugs or surgery)
— Mirriam-Webster

Confused? That definition could mean a lot of things, right?

D.O.'s take a different approach to their patients: they look at the body as a whole. Doctors of osteopathic medicine don't just aim to relieve symptoms with drugs (although they can prescribe them). They aim to heal the whole body. D.O.'s receive special training on the nerve, muscle and bone systems and, actually, are often primary care physicians.

They also practice in all areas of medicine and can perform surgery.

Another great thing about doctors of osteopathic medicine is that they're trained to assess your health issues from a lifestyle perspective. Not only that, but they're focused on prevention. They really like to get to the root of the problem and eliminate it instead of hopping from drug to drug and hoping that eventually one works. Seems silly that not all doctors would do that, right? Our lifestyles and environment absolutely affect our bodies.

I think D.O.'s sound like a fabulous option. Obviously if you have eczema, it's still wise to have a dermatologist and if you have allergies, you should have an allergist. Specialists can be life changing. Starting from a fully analytical doctor like a D.O. is an excellent place to start, though!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Emu Joy

About a month or so ago, I got an email from Emu Joy asking if I'd like to try their products. I decided to let my VIP's be the judge of that (you can become one here). So, I sent out a survey and 100% that answered said "yes", they'd like for me to do a product review. So I said yes to Emu Joy and shortly after, I had a lovely little package full of products to try. THANKS, EMU JOY! :-D

I'd actually never heard about Emu Oil before, so I did a little bit of research and it's said to have a lot of health benefits. It's been found to help:

  • eczema
  • dry skin
  • burns
  • wounds
  • inflammation
  • muscle problems
  • joint problems

Not bad, right?

The first product I tried was Banish My Rash. Since I have chronic eczema and dry skin, finding a good moisturizer is key. This one is definitely more like a cream as opposed to a lotion (which I prefer).  Banish My Rash has a nice, thick texture and a mild yet flowery smell. It actually has calendula in it  (great for eczema) and lavender which is one of my favorite scents. Lavender also has a lot of health benefits!

I used Banish My Rash at night before going to bed. That way, my skin would really soak it up. Night time, while we're sleeping, is when our bodies repairs themselves. I've been using it for a while now and Banish My Rash does a solid job at keeping my hand eczema at bay. It's really common for me to have a few allergic spots on my hands and if they aren't tended to, the eczema can get out of control. Two thumbs up for Banish My Rash, though!

Next up:

I've gotta say... I LOVE LOVE LOVE this On The Go Stick! What a genius way to package a skin product. On The Go Stick now lives in my makeup bag and I usually use it at work when I'm busy. I don't have to worry about having freshly cleaned hands to apply it. I just grab On The Go Stick, rub it on the affected area and get back to work. It's done a good job at getting rid of the itch, so I've enjoyed having this as my go-to. On The Go Stick has a waxy texture (as you can see below) and a lemon-y smell to it.

A tip for using On The Go Stick: clean the end of the waxy stick by rubbing it on a clean towel or take a clean knife and slice off a thin piece. The reason: if an allergen touches your skin and you apply the On The Go Stick, the allergen can get stuck on the stick. Keeping the stick clean will reduce contamination.

Next, Emu Oil:

THIS STUFF ROCKS. It's 100% Emu Oil . The liquid is thick and has a flowery smell, which is a pleasant surprise.

It can be used for:

  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Calluses
  • Chapped Lips
  • Cracked Feet / Cracked Heels
  • Dermatitis
  • Dry Skin
  • Eczema
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Hair Growth / Hair Loss
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Itchy Scalp
  • Itchy Skin (from bug bites, bee stings, exposure to irritants, etc.)
  • Joint Pain
  • Lichen Sclerosus
  • Lichen Planus
  • Muscle Pain
  • Piercing Aftercare
  • Psoriasis
  • Razor Burn
  • Rosacea
  • Scars
  • Shingles
  • Sjogren's Syndrome (dry eyes)
  • Stretch Marks (from pregnancy or weight loss)
  • Sunburn 
  • Swelling
  • Tattoo aftercare 
  • Wrinkles and Fine Lines

I put the Emu Oil on my face at night as a moisturizer and had a nice soft face in the morning. Taking care of your face at night is SO important. It goes through a lot during the day! Breaking out and/or clogged pores were worries of mine, but I had no problems with that, I'm happy to say.

My eczema did well with the Emu Oil as well. It takes the itch away and is SUCH a good moisturizer. I also had the not-so-awesome opportunity to use it on a gnarly burn on my hand. I was ironing my sari for a wedding I was in and accidentally  touched my hand to iron for a SECOND. My god, did it suck.

With all of my allergies, I can't use any over the counter antibiotic ointment. I have a prescription for Muprocin, but ideally I don't want to go to a doctor for antibiotic ointment. I've used aloe on burns and my skin usually does well with it, but it's nice to have other options.

I gave Emu Oil the chance to heal the burn and it's done a fabulous job! I put it on at night and usually one other time during the day. It's healing up quite nicely and the Emu Oil really helps any discomfort that might come from tight, itchy skin.

Two big thumbs up for this dropper of Emu Oil! This is the before shot and what the burn looks like now:

I was excited to see that a little container of Banish My Pain also came in the package. I do a lot of hot yoga and all that muscle work can leave me sore at times... especially in my lower back because I have a slight case of scoliosis. 

Banish My Pain is used for muscle soreness and a LOT of other stuff, such as:

  • aching joints
  • gout
  • fibromyalgia
  • hemorrhoids
  • lichen sclerosus
  • sciatica
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • leg cramps

And it did a great job at easing the pain in my lower back! I put it on before bed and in the morning... I felt NOTHING. And it felt like perfection.

Banish My Pain has a waxy yet kinda creamy texture with a potent fragrance mixture of lemons and flowers.  Once again, two thumbs up for Emu Joy.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with how well Emu Joy's products work. Banish My Rash did a good job at keeping my eczema at bay, On The Go Stick is perfect in your purse, Straight up Emu Oil has great healing powers and Banish My Pain eased up that tension in my lower back. The proof is in the pudding ;-) Emu Joy for the win!

Shop Emu Joy:

*this blog post contains affiliate links*

source: drugs.com

PRODUCT REVIEW: Avid Tea

Herbal remedies have been around forever. Some people scoff at the medicinal capabilities of plants, but plants can be powerful. If certain plants are strong enough to kill us, it only makes sense that plants would also have the strength to heal us, right?

When it comes to allergies and eczema remedies, people have tried EVERYTHING. From herbs to steroids, we've proven that we'll try nearly anything to rid us from the discomfort, pain and inconvenience.

As it turns out, one of my internet friends has a tea company called Avid Tea and asked me if I'd like to try some. Of course, I said yes! I love, love, love tea. When I asked if any of the herbal teas had any health benefits for allergies and eczema, he said yes and suggested the oolong and chamomile tea.

Avid Tea offers a wide range of natural teas free of additives. Perfect for people like us who need to avoid hidden allergens! (If you're looking to stay 100% natural, just make sure to stay away from the "flavors" page in their menu.)

Even better... I've got something just for you:

Use the code "ALLERGISTA" at check-out for 5% off!

A big thanks Avid Tea for the discount! They also sent along these snazzy little steepers which are, drumroll.... nickel-free! I tested them myself :-) They're made of 100% silicone and stainless steel.

So, here's the deal with chamomile and oolong. After a bit of research, I discovered:

Chamomile

  • The chamomile flower has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Great for eczema!
  • Medical research has proven that taking a chamomile bath or applying a chamomile tincture helps heal eczema
  • Also used to aid in digestion

The only downside to chamomile is that since it's a flower... if you have very sensitive pollen allergies, chamomile may cause a reaction.

I happen to love chamomile and this one was great! It has a sweet smell, golden color and a deep taste with a light finish. Obviously, it has a floral taste to it as well :-)

 

Oolong

  • Is a traditional Chinese tea that comes from a type of small evergreen tree or shrub, better known as the Camellia sinensis plant
  • Studies have proven that drinking oolong tea on a daily basis can improve both allergic reactions and eczema after a couple weeks
  • Contains antioxidants

I'd never tried Oolong, so I was excited about this one. I've heard mixed reviews, so I was curious. Personally, this tasted a lot like black tea, but a little more basic and lighter in color. It's a very mild tea... doesn't have a strong taste at all. 

Not only did Avid Tea send me two teas with awesome benefits for allergies and eczema, they sent me several others!

White Tea:

This one was also a first for me! And I definitely thought white tea would be more WHITE, lol. The taste was very nice, though! I was actually surprised at the first sip. It's really refreshing... It tasted like a mix of green and black tea. Green tea always tastes a bit more "fresh" compared to some other teas, so it was nice to find that in a darker tea.

 

English Breakfast:

This one is ma faaaaaavorite :-D  Because English Breakfast tea is always my favorite. It's my go-to. If you like black coffee and want to switch to tea, this is for you! It's got a very bold taste with a rich, dark flavor (and color)... strong and to the point.

 

Peppermint

This peppermint tea was divine. I'd have to say this was my second favorite. It's oh-so fragrant and that minty smell is quite refreshing. The flavor is strong with a clean finish... very bright, but soothing at the same time. 

 

Green Tea

The green tea didn't disappoint.  It tasted like it was fresh from our garden - I loved it! It sounds weird, but it definitely tasted "green" - in a veggie kinda way. Very different from a black tea like English Breakfast. This one has a nice medium flavor and was soothing. Green tea is a staple and this one is great!

Overall, I give Avid Tea a big thumbs up. Loose leaf teas are great not only because they're tasty, but because they create less waste! Many tea bags come wrapped in cellophane or paper and are then packaged inside a little box... who needs all that extra garbage? Plus, those tea infusers are so cute! :-D

And don't forget: Use "ALLERGISTA" for 5% off!

My Muscle Testing Experience for Allergy Diagnosis

Holistic medicine and practices have always interested me. Conventional drugs here in the U.S. can seem pretty extreme because of the harsh side effects. I mean, who doesn't want an anti-depressant with the side effect of suicidal thoughts?

Wouldn't it be great if there was another solution? Something more natural, perhaps?

That's where holistic practitioners come into play. Their use of natural and organic substances combined with alternate ways to test for ailments sets them apart. They say that they get to the root of the problem as opposed to covering up all the symptoms with drugs.

During our years of dating before we got married, my husband did one of the sweetest things ever: he researched acupuncture and found somebody local who also treated allergies. I was THRILLED! I'd been interested in getting acupuncture for quite some time and couldn't wait to make my appointment.

I walked into the doctor's office with an open mind and ready to get down to business. I explained my situation of recently developed allergies and eczema and she couldn't have steered me away from acupuncture faster. She said that she had an alternative type of test for allergies and a way to actually get rid of them. Sounds too good to be true, right? I figured I'd give it a shot cuz why the hell not. I just wanted my health issues GONE.

The allergy testing method she was referring to is called "muscle testing" or sometimes "MRT" AKA "muscle reflex testing". This falls under the umbrella of Applied Kinesiology. 

This is how she did it: She sat me down and had me hold a glass vial with a substance (this could be soy, a chemical, whatever) in it. Then, she had me hold one of my arms straight out.

With each different substance, she'd gently push down on my arm. If my arm didn't stay strong and she was able to push my arm down... then I was diagnosed as allergic OR intolerant to whatever was in the vial.

She ended up diagnosing me with a bunch of allergies that I've never tested positive to on other tests... And as it turns out, there's not much scientific proof that this sort of thing works. Go figure. To be honest, I was a bit doubtful during all of this and I think she could tell.

Next, the curing of the allergies. 

She had me sit down and turned on a little machine which had what looked like a handheld back massager attached to a long cord. Supposedly, this machine had the ability to emit waves into my body... waves that would target one particular allergy at a time and after an unpredictable amount of office visits... would eventually cure that allergy. I was told that it could take who-knows-how-many treatments to cure me.

In the end, I felt no health benefits avoiding the new allergens she told me to avoid... and the polyester allergy I tried to have her cure is still with me 100%. I felt jipped for wasting our money on this, that's for sure. While I wish that doctor hadn't steered me away from the acupuncture experience I'd been wanting to try, I suppose I do appreciate the fact that I experienced this and can cross it off my list. My recommendation is that you save that money for an allergy test from a regular allergist!

Have you ever tried muscle testing? Thoughts?